An Executive is needed to drive the Mental Health Strategy, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said that a restored Executive is essential to delivering Northern Ireland’s ten-year Mental Health Strategy.

Health Paula Bradshaw

It comes following comments shared by mental health champion Professor Siobhan O’Neill, who highlighted the uncertainty around funding on BBC’s Good Morning Ulster.  

“There is little point in publishing strategies like the Mental Health Strategy if we do not ensure that there is adequate funding and scrutiny to make sure they are actually implemented, and the need for a Health Committee, Health Minister, and Executive to drive forward this work is pressing as we come into the Strategy’s third year,” said Ms Bradshaw. 

“It is clear that there is not currently enough staff or resources to meet demand, and there is not enough focus on early intervention and prevention when it comes to Mental Health, nor on the impact well-being has on physical health. Like so many areas in our Health Service, we need better workforce planning to ensure that treatment is there when patients need it and to tackle waiting lists. 

“A Funding Plan was published alongside the Mental Health Strategy so that we could deliver the finance required for its implementation. However, without an Executive to set aside the funding in subsequent muti-year budgets, we risk not only stagnation but also undoing the good work of the devolution.

"We urgently need to press forward with the transformation agenda, and improved mental health services must play a key role.”